The Top 3 Tools to Protect Your Children Online

Opinions of an IT expert

B. Shannon

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Photo by Ludovic Toinel on Unsplash

I have spent the last 20+ years of my career in the IT world, focusing primarily on Microsoft technologies. Windows 10 does have some decent parental controls, but when it came to my kids I needed something that would protect all devices.

As parents, we all want to protect our kids to some degree. Whether you are a helicopter parent or the laid back parent that only gets off the couch for blood and broken bones; no decent parent wants their children(s) to fall victim to the vileness on the internet. Porn addiction and human trafficking are extreme but realistic possible outcomes of not protecting your kids according to Truth About Porn. I will share my own stories of this in the conclusion.

Below are my top picks for ways you can protect your kids and what I do and do not like about each of them. If you delved into the specific features of each solution you will find that they are very similar with a few minor differences. I will conclude with what I have done for my kids and my approach to protecting them.

My Top Picks

Bark

Bark is a great tool to use if you just want to monitor for the worst content your kids can get access to, but you don’t want to see everything they do. Bark uses AI to monitor activity on devices (apps, SMS, etc) and cloud accounts (Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, etc) and notifies you if it detects something that you need to be aware of. It can detect content related to bullying, profanity, nudity, depression, drugs, and much more and all of the categories are adjustable.

In addition to monitoring, they recently released an update that allows you to manage screen time and filter which websites they can visit. You can also monitor the device’s location.

Bark supports Android/Chrome, iOS, and Amazon devices.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Hands off monitoring
  • Only alerts you to subjects you want to know about

Cons:

  • No access to a log of activity
  • Accounts can become disconnected at times and have to be

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B. Shannon

Lover and amateur writer of Science Fiction. Occasional writer of inspirational and non-fiction articles. Wishes he could stop speaking in 3rd person.